Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is a naturally formed sedimentary mineral rock, derived from the remains of diatoms, or oceanic unicellular algae. It comes in the form of a thick, white, siliceous powder.
It is composed of approximately 85 percent silica, an important trace mineral required by tendons, cartilage, blood vessels and bones. In fact, silica is important for almost every vital organ, including the heart, liver and lungs.
Apart from silica, DE also has calcium, alumina, magnesium, and iron, which all have benefits for the body.
This unique composition makes DE one of the cheapest and most versatile health products in the market. It is also used widely in cosmetic, agricultural and cleansing realms.
Note: Always use food-grade diatomaceous earth.
Here are 10 interesting uses of food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE).
1. Aids Detoxification
DE helps detoxify your body naturally, which is important to keep you more energetic, boost your immune system and lower your risk of many health problems.
The negative charge of DE attracts positively charged ions and the one that comes from heavy metals. Ultimately, the toxins are eliminated from the body through the usual routes.
It successfully kills parasites and viruses that can contribute to illnesses, while also helping to clean the blood.
A 2000 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that silica helps eliminate heavy metals like aluminum from the body.
From time to time, take food-grade DE to help detox your body. Add 1 teaspoon to at least 12 ounces of water and drink it immediately, on an empty stomach.
2. Lowers Blood Cholesterol
DE has a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels, due to its silica content and cleansing powers.
By taking 250 mg of DE, 3 times a day, you can easily lower your serum cholesterol significantly. DE is effective in reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol) levels as well as triglycerides.
A 1998 study published in the European Journal of Medical Research reports that DE is capable of reducing blood cholesterol and positively influencing lipid metabolism. However, the authors noted that more placebo-controlled studies were necessary to confirm the findings.
Nutrients like silicon, calcium, magnesium, iron and other trace minerals in DE also support overall heart health.
3. Improves Joint and Bone Health
The silica in food-grade DE helps improve the health of joints, bones and ligaments.
Silica, which is a type of silicon, is essential for collagen formation. Collagen helps promote joint health and is beneficial for reducing joint pain and strengthening the cartilage that cushions joints.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging reports that dietary silicon is beneficial for bone and connective tissue and helps prevent low bone mass. This is turn can prevent osteoporosis.
While more research is needed, you can definitely use DE to improve joint health and prevent bone disorders.
4. Supports Oral Health
The silica in food-grade DE also protects your teeth and gums to support good oral health.
Silica hardens the enamel, prevents cavities and tooth decay. It also prevents bleeding gums, gum atrophy and recession.
The light abrasive nature of diatomaceous earth also removes stains from your teeth.
In fact, many oral hygiene products contain a good amount of silica, which you can easily get from DE.
Mix a little DE in your toothpaste and brush as usual. Do it once a week to maintain good oral health.
5. Promotes Skin Health
DE has several properties that promote healthy skin.
The silica in it gets in the skin pores and helps sweep the dirt from the pores, allowing your skin to breathe better. Silica also aids in collagen formation, a fundamental building block for healthy skin.
Apart from silica, DE also contains minerals including calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium and phosphorous, which are good for skin health.
Being very fine in texture, DE also works as an effective exfoliating agent.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of food-grade DE with some milk or honey, enough to make a paste.
- Gently massage the paste onto your face using circular motions.
- Allow the paste to sit for 1 to 2 minutes, then rinse off your face with lukewarm water.
- Pat dry and apply some mild moisturizer.
- Repeat once a week.
6. Nourishes Hair and Nails
DE is also beneficial for your hair. The high amount of silica helps prevent baldness, stimulates healthier hair growth and ensures beautiful shine, luster and strength.
In fact, silica is one of the key ingredients in many hair supplements that you can find in the market.
Not just hair, silica is also essential for healthy and strong nails. Those who have brittle nails can benefit by taking some DE internally.
You should take food-grade DE on an empty stomach. Add 1 teaspoon to at least 12 ounces of liquid, such as water or any fresh fruit or vegetable juice. Mix vigorously and drink it immediately.